Hackney Marsh Fun Festival 1974-1989 posters

The Hackney Marsh Fun Festival was born out of collaboration between local adventure playground worker Alan Rossiter and Free Form, a group dedicated to promoting arts projects in working class estates and communities. Previously, Free Form put together fun festivals at Canning Town in the very early 1970s and also worked with Joan Littlewood at the Stratford Fair.

The HMFF, which started in 1973 became very popular, attracting up to 15,000 people by the late 1970s. The Festival had its own organising committee who in turn, together with Free Form played a huge role in establishing Chats Palace in 1976.

The Festival included a procession of floats from the local estates with high participation by children and families. The Festival continued into mid-1990s and its influence can be seen today in the wide variety of outdoor events in East London. It has also left an interesting visual archive and we hope to bring you a selection in the coming months.

© Chats Palace